Brian Burke says there's method behind the madness of not trading Mike Cammalleri at the NHL trade deadline. Fittingly, no one is buying it. However, instead of harping on the deal he couldn't get done, Burke saved himself and the Flames from an embarrassing day by cashing in big on two unlikely trading chips -- Lee Stempniak and Reto Berra. After the hockey world lobbed endless criticism at Burke for not being able to turn the franchise's shiniest object into gold, Burke pulled a pair of rabbits out of his hat late, landing a third-round draft pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Stempniak and a head-scratching second-rounder from the Colorado Avalanche for rookie goalie Reto Berra. Apparently the market for unproven pending unrestricted free-agent netminders with one career regular win is a lucrative one. Who knew? Arguably the biggest steal of the day, the Berra bonanza masked the outright failure to salvage anything for Cammalleri, a 31-year-old who will unquestionably sign elsewhere this summer with no compensation sent the Flames way. "The fans are entitled to criticize anything that they want," said the Flames president of hockey operations and acting GM when asked what he'd say to the army of angry fans lighting him up on social media. "I think that criticism would be muted if he re-signs here. But it didn't happen not for a lack of effort, not for a lack of moving the price," Burke continued. "I'm comfortable we did everything we could do to move him short of giving him away. To me, the value of having him here for the rest of the season and the enhanced ability to maybe sign him to an extension was way preferable to giving him away for nothing." He shouldn't re-sign here. He won't. It's laughable to suggest it makes sense for the player or the team.
Two shrewd moves ease blow from epic fail of not trading Michael Cammalleri
Calgary Sun | Mar 6